Dodgers head to postseason with victory

Dodgers head to postseason with victory

DENVER -- In their final tuneup heading into the National League Division Series that starts Friday, the Dodgers beat the Rockies, 6-3, at Coors Field in Sunday's regular-season finale. It was the club's 104th victory of the season, extending a Los Angeles-era record. Colorado, winner of the second NL Wild Card, heads to Arizona to play the D-backs in the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday. The winner of that game will face the Dodgers in the NLDS.

"The way we played, there was a lot of postseason talk in July and August," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose team finished with the best record in baseball. "We've been looking forward to get to this day and focus on the postseason."

Right-hander Ross Stripling started for the Dodgers on a pre-planned bullpen day for the pitching staff, yielding a hit and a walk over two innings. Edward Paredes and Kenta Maeda combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief, and Brandon McCarthy gave up three runs in the sixth and seventh. Walker Buehler and Josh Fields pitched the eighth and ninth. Shortstop Corey Seager, who has been dealing with a sore elbow and entered the game slashing .179/.261/.321 in September, went 3-for-3 with a double, two singles and an RBI.

Seager's RBI infield single

"It's always nice to finish strong, whether it's the individual or the team," said Seager.

The Rockies had rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland start the regular-season finale, instead of scheduled starter Tyler Anderson. Manager Bud Black said before the game that this keeps Anderson available in case he is needed in relief during Wednesday's NL Wild Card Game. Freeland gave up two runs on five hits over three innings, giving way to Jeff Hoffman, who surrendered three runs and walked four in 1 2/3 innings.

"It's good with me," Anderson said of not starting Sunday. "I can throw a bullpen and be ready for any situation possible. There are ways to throw pitches in between [games] if you need to, and build up."

The Rockies scored their first run on a Tony Wolters RBI single in the sixth. They tacked on two more in the seventh on a Mike Tauchman RBI triple, followed by a Raimel Tapia RBI double. Charlie Blackmon went 1-for-2 with a single, finishing the season batting .331 to win the NL batting average title.

Tapia's RBI double

"I think that's the reason I kind of try to stay on an even keel throughout the ups and downs, because it's such a long season and until the last out is recorded, I think you've got to try and stay focused," Blackmon said. "So now it's kind of nice to sit back and relax, and know that we've turned in a good season. But there's more baseball to be played."

Bellinger, bright sun lead to a run: With Seager on second following a double in the first inning, Cody Bellinger drove a fly ball to center field off Freeland, where Blackmon appeared to lose the ball in the sun, resulting in an RBI ground-rule double and a 1-0 Dodgers lead.

Bellinger's RBI double

Double trouble: With the Dodgers leading, 3-0, in the fifth inning, Joc Pederson ripped an RBI double down the right-field line off Hoffman, with a Statcast-projected exit velocity of 106.6 mph. It was Los Angeles' fourth double of the game, and extended the lead to 4-0. Pederson, who came into the game to replace Yasiel Puig in the fourth, added another RBI double in the seventh.

Pederson's second RBI double

"We couldn't have scripted it any better." -- Roberts, on the regular-season finale

"We play at Chase Field all the time. We know about that place, and we know everything about that team, too. But they know the same thing about us. We all know it's going to be a battle and a tough matchup for us and them. They're good at home, but we've been able to win there a few times. We're confident going in." -- Nolan Arenado, on mindset going into the Wild Card Game

The Dodgers tied the 1942 Brooklyn club for second-most wins in a season in franchise history (104). That team had a higher winning percentage, however, playing a 154-game schedule and going 104-50. The only team in franchise history to win more was the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, who went 105-49.

Dodgers: The Dodgers will hold workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for the NLDS that opens on Friday at Dodger Stadium with Clayton Kershaw starting Game 1 against either Arizona or Colorado.

Rockies: The Rockies will play in their first postseason game since 2009, taking on the D-backs at Chase Field in the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. MT. Right-hander Jon Gray will start for Colorado. Gray made three starts against Arizona in the regular season, posting a 3.50 ERA. In his last start at Chase Field, he gave up two runs in seven innings, walking none and striking out 10.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.